Irvine, CA- One of the most frustrating situations that can occur during orthodontic treatment is when a bracket becomes loose and falls out of place. Dr. Updike, an Irvine orthodontist, discusses the potential reasons why this could happen and what to do when it does.
There are three main reasons why a bracket might have fallen off: the placement of the bracket, the tooth itself, or the patient.
In the beginning stages of braces, if a patient has a bad bite, it is more likely that one of their teeth may dislodge another bracket when biting down. If this occurs, we typically assess the situation and ask the patient to bite down as hard as they can after reapplying the bracket. If there is still potential for a top tooth to bite off the bottom bracket, we may add some temporary composite to prevent dislodging to happen again.
The second possible situation is the tooth does not hold the bracket well. The bond of the bracket is strong when the enamel of the tooth is normal and healthy. The bond lessens when there are varying surfaces of the tooth such as too much calcium on the tooth, or even when there is a silver filling.
Lastly, the patient could also dislodge their own bracket as well. Although we instruct our patients of foods to avoid during treatment, sometimes accidents happen. Foods such as raw carrots, chips, gum, popcorn, or even chewing ice could cause your bracket to loosen and fall off. Foreign objects such as biting on a pen could also cause the bracket to fall off as well. We know changing eating habits may be difficult, but it is for the patient’s benefit to avoid breaking a bracket.
Now to answer the most common question: what do I do when a bracket falls off?
If a bracket happens to become loose or fall off during school or work, stay calm! We recommend locating the bracket (if possible) and giving our office a call. We will do our best to accommodate the emergency visit and get your bracket back where it belongs. If the bracket was dislodged from a molar and the wire is poking the inside of the cheek, simply apply some wax to reduce the discomfort. Our team is always here to assist, so if you have any other questions, contact us at 949- 870- 9713!